We are painting after fifteen years and replacing the carpet after twenty three years. we had moved into this house shortly after Tariq was born.
My mind is running a marathon, but I am hitting a wall, where I am unable to think and feel anymore, I decide to check out the people who are carpeting the rooms, and there in begins a new journey of the closets.
I am amazed how one bedroom can fill just the contents of one closet. I open Shireen s closet it is empty she has already stashed the important stuff out of sight, deep in the recesses of her room.
I walk through the connecting bathroom that the children have shared growing up and stand in Tariq’s newly carpeted room, he would have enjoyed the clean look. His tux and his sadris remind me that he is not there to use them. I want someone to use them and yet it seems callous to throw them in the faceless pile going to Goodwill.
I turn away and spot his signature hat lying on the floor of the closet. My heart is not full, nor are my eyes brimming with tears at its sight just a regret…………of circumstances that made him unhappy sometimes by those very close ones…I decide to shut that door mentally. Regret and “if” opens the door to Shaytaans’s whisperings and waswasas, according to our Prophet Muhammad PBUH.
I walk back to Shireen’s room, where Tariq’ s things have been stashed, for now. His awards are spilling out of a box and his hockey from Pakistan and tennis racket are symbols of good times and travels gone by.
He has not taken anything with him, he does not need anything where he is except our duas, and yet…………..I find it hard to let go of these last vestiges of material memories.
I am on this journey alone; Paul and Shireen have disappeared, partly due to circumstance and some due to choice.
Thus I continue to journey alone…….. In his drawer is an album, a step-by-step illustration of the process of restoring his love.
He spent one year lovingly restoring an old 68 Camaro, working every weekend at the car garage, loving every moment of it……..and now it stands in our garage untouched and veiled in sorrow.
Material things…..I must learn to detach the memories from material things, these things don’t represent Tariq, nor does a diamond ring represent love……and yet I hesitate, and feel helpless as the colors of my memories fade and are replaced one by one…….. by others.